Diploma of Financial Counselling - Draft 1

CHCFIN008 Apply professional practice in financial counselling_Draft 1.0

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Unit application and prerequisites

UNIT CODE

CHCFIN008

UNIT TITLE

Apply professional practice in financial counselling

APPLICATION

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to take a structured approach to the development of written tools and resources that support financial counselling.

 

This unit applies to financial counsellors who work in agencies that meet the requirements for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) exemptions from holding a financial services or credit licence.

 

The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand Standards and industry codes of practice.

PREREQUISITE UNIT

Nil

COMPETENCY FIELD

 

UNIT SECTOR

 

7 Comments

Element 1

"Apply membership standards - is an introductory financial counselling element that has been addressed in previous FIN units - is this needed?"

Jill McKinlay 10.11.2021 12.08PM

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pre-requisite units

"suggest that CHCADV001 be a pre-requisite for the financial units. this unit provides a good grounding and prepares the student for the financial advocacy / representation that they will undertake in the financial counsellor role "

Bernadette Pasco 10.11.2021 08.18AM

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title of the unit

"there is a unit in the diploma of financial counselling called - Reflect on and improve own professional practice PRP003 - this unit is core and give the opportunity to contextualise the professional approach to financial counselling. Suggest that the title of this unit be amended to something like- Apply financial counselling tools and techniques [amendment of previous unit title] "

Bernadette Pasco 29.10.2021 07.32AM

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1 Reply

"I agree with this comment"

Sarah Davidson 04.11.2021 02.28PM

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application statement - refine

"this unit describes the skills and knowledge that financial counsellors need to use a structured approach in applying and using written and other tools and resources to support the financial counselling process and client representation."

Bernadette Pasco 29.10.2021 07.29AM

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2 Replies

"I agree with this comment"

Sarah Davidson 04.11.2021 02.28PM

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"agreed"

Mandy Jackson 08.11.2021 10.23AM

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Elements and performance criteria

ELEMENTS

PERFORMANCE CRITERIA

Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

  1. Apply membership standards.
    1. Implement professional supervision in accordance with policy and procedures of the professional association and the organisation.
    2. Undertake professional development activities to meet State peak body, organisation and industry requirements.
    3. Maintain knowledge of current industry information and best practice in financial counselling and utilise in professional practice.
    4. Maintain currency and completeness of available resources.
    5. Understand and implement Australian financial counselling code of ethical practice.
    6. Engage with financial counselling peak bodies.
  1. Document the client journey.
    1. Review structure and function of a client case file and associated requirements.
    2. Ensure all written documentation produced is in line with financial counselling sector standards and practices, including being clear and timely.
    3. Create case notes for each client and creditor interaction, taking into account professional and legal requirements.
    4. Use record keeping to keep track of creditor response times.
    5. Maintain confidentiality of records in accordance with professional and legal requirements.
    6. Prepare and maintain statistical records.
    7. Maintain and document regular contact with the client to ensure client remains informed about progress.
    8. Document potential structural or systemic issues based on client experiences.
  1. Close client case file.
    1. Work with the client to devise an exit strategy.
    2. Terminate the financial counselling process in line with organisational procedures and professional role requirements.
    3. Secure client records for storage, archiving and destruction as per organisation and privacy requirements.

12 Comments

element 1

"suggest replacing element 1 with - Review client progress and know professional requirements - since this leads to element 2 [knowing the requirements and operation of the client case file] and include performance criteria such as: 1. review client case plan; goals, actions and timeframes 2. contact creditors and third parties to check progress 3. undertake research into complex matters [e.g. legislation, codes, family violence, problem gambling, mental health, etc.] 4. write letters for representation and advocacy 5. use financial counselling sector resources 6. understand financial counselling sector requirement for membership "

Bernadette Pasco 29.10.2021 08.10AM

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1 Reply

"I agree with this comment"

Sarah Davidson 04.11.2021 02.28PM

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element 3 - amend performance criteria

"suggest: 1. Collaborate with the client to end the financial counselling relationship 2. Use line management support to assist case closure when needed 3. Provide documents to client if needed for future use 4. Apply organisational requirements to case closure 5. Secure client records as per Privacy and organisational requirements "

Bernadette Pasco 29.10.2021 07.58AM

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1 Reply

"I agree with this comment"

Sarah Davidson 04.11.2021 02.28PM

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2.8

"this is similar to elements in CHCFIN009 - suggest remove unless CHCFIN009 is not included in new qualification "

Bernadette Pasco 29.10.2021 07.55AM

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1 Reply

"I agree with this comment"

Sarah Davidson 04.11.2021 02.28PM

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element 2 amend criteria

"criteria - Understand and use all aspects of client case file and associated requirements Construct, maintain and use client case plan to record progress and collaborate with the client Apply privacy principles and confidentiality to all client interactions and representation Document and maintain all interactions with and for the client using client case notes Maintain creditor correspondence and communication records Review case progress and plan case closure prepare and maintain statistical records "

Bernadette Pasco 29.10.2021 07.50AM

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1 Reply

"I agree with this comment"

Sarah Davidson 04.11.2021 02.28PM

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element 1

"this is integrated throughout the first two units and should be part of PRP003 - which has an element about maintaining professional practice."

Bernadette Pasco 29.10.2021 07.34AM

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3 Replies

"I agree with this comment"

Sarah Davidson 04.11.2021 02.28PM

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"Agreed - this is a wonderful opportunity to review unnecessary repetition in the diploma of financial counselling - PRP003 is a more appropriate unit for this element"

Jill McKinlay 10.11.2021 11.44AM

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"I definitely agree with the above comments. Students often comment on too much repetition throughout the diploma."

Michelle Ludwig 11.11.2021 04.59PM

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Foundation skills

FOUNDATION SKILLS

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.

SKILLS

DESCRIPTION

Reading skills to:

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Writing skills to:

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Oral communication skills to:

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Numeracy skills to:

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Learning skills to:

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Problem-solving skills to:

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Initiative and enterprise skills to:

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Teamwork skills to:

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Planning and organising skills to:

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Self-management skills to:

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Technology skills to:

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UNIT MAPPING INFORMATION

Supersedes and is not equivalent to CHCFIN003 Develop and use financial counselling tools and techniques.

LINKS

Companion Volume Implementation Guide

10 Comments

technology

"create and write word documents, use excel and basic programs; able to use Word functions such as track changes and other collaboration software; ability to use online services to assist the client with advocacy such as lodging complaints and sharing documents with creditors; understand and apply cyber-security across all platforms ; use online services to engage in continuous professional development activities; understand and use communication platforms like email, sharepoint; understand and apply cybersecurity and document security protocols "

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.13PM

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self management skills

"ability to understand scope of practice, risk frameworks; able to practice self- reflection and demonstrate self-awareness; demonstrate emptional intelligence; recognises weaknesses in practice and seeks to improve that practice; seeks support when work impacts well-being; values life-long learning and development; be open to financial counselling professional supervision and related sector requirements for wellbeing "

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.11PM

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planning and organisational skills

"able to apply knowledge and skills to the needs of the organisation, the client and the team within time constraints; demonstrated ability to plan work activities to meet the purpose of the organisation and client objectives within context of the financial counsellor role; be able to adapt to new requirements and initiatives within the organisational context and for the client"

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.09PM

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teamwork skills

"broad range of communication and collaboration skills to assist team function and development to support organisational structure to achieve client outcomes and professional development of new financial counsellors; apply and have capacity to develop leadership qualities "

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.08PM

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interpretive and enterprise skills

"interpret complex information and apply emotional intelligence, knowledge and common sense to client and workplace situations; apply interpretive skills to organisational requirements"

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.07PM

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learning skills

"proactive learning approach and reflective practice; ability to seek information and accept feedback; set learning goals and work to improve professional performance; understand the need for continuous professional improvement "

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.06PM

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Numeracy skills

"AQF level 5 and above - understand complex financial statements; interpret financial offers to provide information to the client; apply excellence and accuracy in numeracy in written and oral advocacy for the client; ability to estimate and identify errors in financial statements and contracts; undertake calculations "

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.05PM

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oral communication skills

"communicate verbally using appropriate technical language and using objective approaches; ACF level 4/ 5 and above; respond to questions at hand verbally and without judgment; assist the client to formulate oral communication; ability to mentor new workers and use emotional intelligence in verbal expression "

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.03PM

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writing skills

"Apply English language and related grammar, etiquette and structure when writing letters; use appropriate grammar and sentence structure to represent the needs of the client; respond to complex legalistic letters in an appropriate way in writing; use appropriate etiquette in letter writing, emails and other forms of written communication. Equivalent to AQF level 5 and above "

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.02PM

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reading skills

"read, interpret and analyse complex numeric statements, written legal and contract information and other complex documentation [e.g. health statements, medical reports etc.]; read legislation, policies and rules about their applications "

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.01PM

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Performance evidence

TITLE

Assessment Requirements for CHCFIN008 Apply professional practice in financial counselling

PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE

Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • performed the activities outlined in the performance criteria of this unit during a period of 220 hours of work in a financial counselling agency that has met the requirements for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) exemptions from holding a financial services or credit licence or in an appropriate simulated environment.
  • used critical thinking and problem-solving skills to engage with five different clients presenting with multiple and complex needs to:
    • document the client journey through case notes and statistical records
    • keep the client informed about the process
    • close a file
  • use current financial counselling industry resources or undertake CPD to inform response to client needs.

3 Comments

advocate for clients via each of the following mediums....

"Is face-to-face advocacy relevant for FC's? I'm not aware of this occurring. It adds an extra dimension to assessment."

John Morris 11.11.2021 02.15PM

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performance evidence

"the performance evidence needs to capture more of the knowledge evidence so that all RTOs have to undertake this as part of the assessment in a real way. It should be linked to Learning in the Workplace. The student must provide all of the following evidence for each of the 5 clients in the form of a client file for each client that includes completed documentation for: 1. full assessment including clear identification of (i) urgent issues [triage] including screening processes (ii) financial and (iii) underlying issues; 2. Statement of income and expenses; assets and liabilities and Statement of financial position used for advocacy [must use FCA Statement of Financial Position]; 3. outline/ summary of complex issues including affected others, family violence, homelessness, problem gambling, victim of crime, mental health etc. 4. case plan and related processes 5. client agreement to enter service and other agency-like documents 6. conflict of interest check 7. case notes 8. creditor list 9. advocacy letters 10. copy of complaint to IDR/ EDR 11. case progress - e.g. planning for case closure 12. referral to other services [letters and notes or referral forms] 13. checklists [e.g. bankruptcy checklist] 14. process for case closure [client perspective] 15. case closure letter 16. agency process for closing the file. The student must write a client case study for each client that demonstrates how professional practice is applied and which includes a full summary of the client situation, actions and outcomes along with identified systemic issues and actions to progress the systemic issue to the regulator, peak bodies etc. The 5 clients should engaged with in a real financial counselling workplace or virtual financial counselling workplace [STEPS] with the client information to be captured across the three financial counselling units [FIN006, 007 and 008] , with the student building the client profile and documentation as they go through their learning in the workplace experience. Performance evidence should give option for 3 additional clients through STEPS only should the student not be able to attend clients with the complex matters that relate to FDV, small business, problem gambling or other addictions So that means that the practices around DFV, gambling/ addictions and small business could be specifically captured through the student working with STEPS clients. NOTE: whilst students can use current financial counselling industry resources, students may have restricted access to CPD- CPD is for post graduation to establish and expand on baseline knowledge achieved in the Diploma - hence 'undertake CPD' should be removed from the Diploma outline. Skills must be demonstrated in a financial counselling workplace and if that is not possible, with simulations and scenarios developed by Financial Counselling Australia capturing the full range of contexts and situations. Assessment must ensure access to: suitable facilities, equipment and resources, including: qualified financial counsellor workplace mentors, client information organisational policies, procedures and resources, FCA templates for client service delivery [e.g. Statement of financial position, Bankruptcy checklist etc. ] modelling of industry operating conditions, including: provision of scenarios that involve complex interactions with other people and professionals scenarios that involve problem-solving; application of mentoring skills that assist the student to participate in the workforce and identify progression of the student from basic intake and financial information to assisting a client with complex debt and related problems;"

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.20PM

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1 Reply

"excellent points, I agree"

Sarah Davidson 09.11.2021 03.25PM

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Knowledge evidence

KNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE

Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • national standards including:
    • national and state supervision policies
    • national and state guides to continuing professional development
    • National Standards for Membership and Accreditation and requirements that are particular to state
    • Australian financial counselling code of ethical practice
  • key sources of information and resources including:
    • FCA toolkit and FCA toolkit Facebook group
    • NDH website
    • State peak body resources
  • structure and role of peak bodies in the financial counselling sector
  • principles of writing case notes, including:
    • when to make a file note
    • what information should be included
    • professional standards and practices for file notes
    • case review
  • documentation associated with casework including:
    • client case notes
    • open file checklists
    • income and expenses statement/s
    • advocacy letters
    • action plans
    • close file checklists
    • file closure letters
  • consumer protection laws, regulatory guidance and industry codes affecting consumers and small business:
    • National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (particularly Schedule 1, National Credit Code and responsible lending, hardship requirements)
    • Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (particularly Schedule 2, The Australian Consumer Law)
    • State or Territory Fair trading acts
    • Social security law
    • Taxation law
    • Privacy Act (and credit reporting code)
    • Bankruptcy Act 1966
    • ASIC regulatory guides, ASIC/ACCC debt collection guidelines
    • Banking Code of Practice, Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice, Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code, energy codes, BNPL Code
    • Open data and the consumer data right
  • general principles in the law in relation to confidentiality and privacy and any agency policies that may interact with these
  • use and purpose of electronic databases, including:
    • communicating with colleagues
    • facilitating smooth hand over between financial counsellors
    • as the basis for reporting to funders
    • providing evidence (if subpoena is issued)
  • rights and responsibilities of workers, employers and clients
  • indicators of the presence of systemic issues, including:
    • unfair outcomes permitted by existing systems
    • pattern of poor outcomes associated with one creditor or industry
    • poor outcomes for clients associated with new products
  • terminating the financial counselling process, including:
    • by agreement with the client
    • terminating the engagement before matter is concluded when:
      • client no longer engaging with the process
      • matter becomes too complicated or risky
      • a conflict of interest as arisen
      • the client is abusive of manipulative
      • the matter has become a legal matter and requires legal advice
  • content of a file close letter/email, including:
    • the date the file was closed
    • notice that all original documents have been returned or there is none held
    • notice that the file may be destroyed after 7 years
    • details of any settlement and provide relevant documents
    • any next steps or actions for the client including relevant referrals
    • time limits that may apply and where to get legal advice (if applicable)
    • feedback survey (if applicable).

2 Comments

Knowledge evidence

"this is where information testing is inconsistent. All knowledge assessments should be based on real client scenarios that are inclusive of the knowledge items - client scenarios could be prescribed by the financial counselling sector to ensure consistency, using templates etc, and links to legislation as outlined in the KE. Case studies written as a response to the performance evidence should also reflect the knowledge evidence. it may be helpful to outline the way in which the sector wants to include the legislations in case work- again, prescribed, realistic and complex client scenarios work best, rather than a question by question knowledge based testing approach. "

Bernadette Pasco 09.11.2021 02.27PM

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1 Reply

"agreed, great point Bern"

Sarah Davidson 09.11.2021 03.23PM

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Assessment conditions

ASSESSMENT CONDITIONS

Skills must have been demonstrated in the workplace or with simulations and scenarios developed by Financial Counselling Australia capturing the full range of contexts and situations.

 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • suitable facilities, equipment and resources, including:
    • client information
    • organisational policies, procedures and resources
  • modelling of industry operating conditions, including:
    • scenarios that involve complex interactions with other people
    • scenarios that involve problem-solving.

 

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations’ requirements for assessors.

LINKS

Companion Volume Implementation Guide

2 Comments

enhance conditions statement

"Skills must be demonstrated in a financial counselling workplace and if that is not possible, with simulations and scenarios developed by Financial Counselling Australia capturing the full range of contexts and situations. Assessment must ensure access to: suitable facilities, equipment and resources, including: qualified financial counsellor workplace mentors client information organisational policies, procedures and resources FCA templates for client service delivery [e.g. Statement of financial position, Bankruptcy checklist etc. ] modelling of industry operating conditions, including: provision of scenarios that involve complex interactions with other people and professionals scenarios that involve problem-solving; application of mentoring skills that assist the student to participate in the workforce and identify progression of the student from basic intake and financial information to assisting a client with complex debt and related problems"

Bernadette Pasco 28.10.2021 07.29AM

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1 Reply

"I agree with this comment"

Sarah Davidson 04.11.2021 02.29PM

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